September is Attendance Awareness Month in Nevada County |

September is Attendance Awareness Month in Nevada County

Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Scott Lay has joined a nationwide effort to celebrate Attendance Awareness Month in September and has pledged to raise awareness about the value of regular school attendance and focus on reducing chronic absenteeism in the new school year.

Lay noted in a news release that good attendance is essential to academic success, but far too many students are at risk academically because they are chronically absent. Chronic absence is described as missing 10 percent of the school year for any reason, excused or unexcused. That’s the point at which absenteeism begins to affect student performance, research shows.

“We know that we will never narrow the achievement gap or reduce our dropout rate until we bring this problem under control, and that means starting early,” Lay said. “All our efforts to improve curriculum and instruction won’t matter much if students aren’t in school.”

At the local level, all Nevada County schools are promoting attendance with multiple activities. Williams Ranch School has student ambassadors performing skits at morning assemblies. Union Hill School also has student ambassadors roaming the lunch room once a week to hand out prizes to those who have perfect attendance. At Scotten School, the first class to have 20 days with all students present wins a pizza party with the principal. A local business donates Lazy Dog Ice Cream to honor Bell Hill Academy students each month. Private local businesses, such as Foothills Financial and Insurance Services, have been partnering with local schools for years to give out bicycles for perfect attendance.

“All our efforts to improve curriculum and instruction won’t matter much if students aren’t in school.”Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Scott Lay

During Attendance Awareness Month, the superintendent asks school leaders, community advocates, parents and students to act upon first steps he says are critical to help stem chronic absenteeism:

Build a habit and a culture of regular attendance

Use data to determine when and with whom chronic absence is a problem

Identify and address barriers to get children to school.

Source: Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office

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